Space porn from Mars

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Despite Christopher Guest's musical assertion that "nothing ever happens on Mars, it's boring, boring boring" (from Waiting for Guffman), all these Mars missions of late have been returning some really incredible, eye-popping photographs (and stereographs, and spectrographs, etc). Being the space lover that I am, I felt it was high time to do a greatest hits. So here goes:

Deuteronilus Mensae, 39° North by 23° East

The scene is dominated by a depression measuring about 2,000 meters deep and 110 kilometers in diameter. It was photographed by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the European satellite Mars Express.

Ancient caldera in Apollinaris Patera, 7.2° South by 174.6° Eastcaldera.jpg
This is an ancient shield volcano that collapsed or exploded long ago, measuring approximately 180 by 280 kilometers at its base.

Eastern scarp of Olympus Mons, 17.5° North by 230.5° Eastmons.jpg

The resolution on this photograph is about 11 meters per pixel, which should give you some sense of the enormous scale here: the scarp is up to six kilometers high in places.

The Happy Face Crater, 51° South by 329° Eastface.jpg

Its interior shows a surface which is shaped by wind activity as seen in numerous dunes and dark dust devil tracks which blew away the bright dusty surface coating.

Thanks to the ESA for the images.

May 22, 2007 - 7:54am
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